A favorite family story…I was stopped at a stoplight with my two then very young boys when a truck pulled up next to us carrying several portable toilets. “Garbage truck!” announced my toddler. “No,” said his sage older brother, “That’s the guy who drives the little toilets around.” And then he uttered the words every mother longs to hear:
“When I grow up, I’M going to be the guy who drives the little toilets around.”
I am by no means putting down the folks in this profession – in fact, I think they ought to be among the highest paid professionals there are, along those who pick up my garbage and retrieve the roadkill in my neighborhood. But every business has its unsavory side, those tasks we just hate to do – and it’s different for each of us. For some it’s accounting. For others it’s handling customer complaints. Or perhaps it’s staying up all night to package up shipments because there is no one else to do it.
I can still remember those first heady days after my husband and I started our business. We worked at the dining room table. People were coming and going. Even the most mundane tasks were exciting and stimulating. But it didn’t take long for the bloom to come off that rose. The same tasks we relished in those early days became a real drain as we entered the Unruly Toddler stage.
Those of you who know me know that I am a big proponent of outsourcing both in my business and my personal life. The first things for you to consider outsourcing are the things you hate to do the most. Why not? It frees you up to take on the hundreds of other tasks, some of which you probably like a whole lot better. And if you’re hiring, it’s the same concept – if you hate a particular task, chances are there is someone who can do it a whole lot better than you can.
If you’re not in a position to outsource or hire, do the planning you need to do to see when you can begin to pass some of your responsibilities on to others. And in the meantime, persevere. After all, like it or not, someone has to drive the little toilets around.
What’s the task you like least in your business?